Buttermilk chicken

Serves: 4

Prep time: 5 minutes (longer if you’re breaking down a whole chicken) plus 24 hours brining

Cooking time: 15-20 minutes

The buttermilk brine adds a great sourness and the brining process makes the chicken beautifully tender and just crams the flavour in. Patience is key when finishing the chicken on the BBQ.

You will need:

500ml buttermilk

10g salt (I use maldern flakes)

15g muscavado sugar

1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika(use hot smoked for a little bit of a kick)

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tsp colmans mustard powder

1 whole chicken or 4 chicken legs or 8 thighs bone in and skin on

Making it

If you’re using chicken legs separate them into thighs and drumsticks then simply whip all the other ingredients together and then throw in the chicken (trying to keep the chicken covered) and pop it in the fridge overnight in a sealed tub.

If like me your using the whole chicken break it down into breast, wings and legs, don’t forget to get the oysters from the carcass and marinade them too (they are an excellent chefs perk).

You can grill the bird whole on a spit (I’m doing it this way next) or even just finish it in the oven or under a hot grill. However…

The next day light your BBQ for indirect cooking (if using charcoal or lump wood keep the fuel down one end/side of the BBQ, if you’re using gas light one end on medium to high and the other right down low) and get ready to start cooking. Take the chicken out of the buttermilk and place it skin side down on the grill (the cool end) , give it 6 or 7 minutes and flip it for another 5. Flip it over to the hot end of the BBQ skin side down for 2-4 minutes until the skin crisps up. Check it’s cooked (thermometer probe reaching 75°C or look for white flesh and clear juices) because food poisoning isn’t fun. If the meat is cooked you’re good to go, get into it.

This goes great with an aromatic smoked garlic, lemon and parsley rice or simply with a load more great bbq food.


For more wallop add 1 tsp – or as much as you want sriracha to the buttermilk.

Try smoking the buttermilk before brining just be sure to cool it properly before using it as a marinade. If you have the kit you could hot smoke the chicken to finish it.

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